Rangers notes: Berkman puts off retirement

Posted Thursday, Aug. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman said Thursday that he has shelved thoughts of retirement and will proceed with rehabilitation on his lingering hip injury with visions of a return later this month.

Berkman said he hopes to begin a rehabilitation assignment next week, perhaps Aug. 8 or 9.

That timetable depends on whether he can run the bases, which he can’t do at full speed. He labeled himself “50 percent” as a base runner.

“I’m coming back, it’s just a matter of how long to get where I don’t need a pinch runner when I get on first base,” said Berkman, who has missed 22 games with left hip inflammation. He took batting practice before Thursday’s game against Arizona.

Team management and Berkman were encouraged when the switch hitter hit in the indoor cages on Wednesday without any issues.

Berkman said hitting from the right side causes him some discomfort, but the 37-year-old added that at this point “it’s unrealistic to expect that I wouldn’t be playing with discomfort from here on out. It’s managing the discomfort,” he said.

Berkman said he considered retiring, citing the frustration and mental grind of dealing with injury and the realization that he might not be able to compete at this level because of it.

An upbeat Berkman said he is resolved to finish the season.

“I’ve made up my mind that this is what this team needs to happen and I’m going to do my dangdest to give them everything I’ve got,” Berkman said.

Cruz update

Nelson Cruz remained in right field for the Rangers while awaiting word on what seems inevitable: a suspension of as many as 50 games imposed by Major League Baseball for a connection to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.

Various reports over the past several days indicated that an announcement could be made as early as Friday.

Cruz could appeal a suspension, though any delay into next season would almost certainly cause a negative effect on negotiations on a new contract in the off-season when he is a free agent.

Cruz said he hasn’t made any decisions about an appeal if or when the decision is made.

“It’s tough, I mean, we’re in a good situation now, we’re close to first place and close to the wild card also,” Cruz said. “Hopefully everything plays well.”

Lewis close

Right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis, coming off elbow surgery and now triceps tendinitis, said he is ready with complete confidence that his stuff is capable of getting big-league hitters out.

He’ll make what is expected to be his final rehabilitation start on Saturday in Frisco.

What his role with the big-league club will be is the next question. Lewis acknowledged as such on Thursday, noting that the Rangers’ current rotation of Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Matt Garza and Martin Perez has been effective.

“I’m going to do what ever they ask me to do,” said Lewis, who is slated to throw 90 pitches against the San Antonio Missions on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter what role that is. As long as I’m active out there trying to contribute.”

Briefly

• On this weekend’s series with AL West leader Oakland, manager Ron Washington said: “It’s important because Oakland is in first place, but it’s not do or die.”

• Adrian Beltre was selected Rangers player of the month after hitting nine home runs, 19 RBIs and 13 extra-base hits.

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